Local News

Mother of slain Sgt.: He was the meaning of integrity, honor, bravery

Posted July 27, 2016 2:21 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2016 7:06 p.m. EDT

The mother of an Army soldier who died early Sunday coming to the aid of a woman being attacked at a South Carolina bar said she is proud of her son's actions.

Sgt. Jonathan Prins, 29, and 40-year-old Sgt. Charles Allen Judge Jr. were both gunned down at the Frayed Knot bar in Lexington County, South Carolina.

"Jonathan was the type of boy who would stick up for you no matter what. No matter what the consequence was," said his mother, Lesa Dennis. "He would give you the shirt off his back to help you. He was, he is, the complete meaning of integrity and honor and bravery."

Dennis said she had warned her son about putting himself in harm’s way for others. She said apparently, that day, he didn't listen.

"It was just so him what he did," she said.

In court Monday, Joseph Mills said he shot and killed Prins and Judge in self-defense.

"I was mad," Dennis said. "I think the word I used was stupid."

But as days passed, Dennis said her feelings changed, and the anger toward her son's actions was replaced with pride.

"It wasn't a stupid act at that point," Dennis said. "What he did, he thought he was doing the right thing."

Dennis said she is now focused on keeping her son's memory alive for his three young children. More than $14,000 has been raised to send Prins' family to Disney World. According to Dennis, it was a dream to his.

"His memory will never die. (The kids) will know who their dad was," she said.

Prins was a native of the Cleveland area and attended West Johnston High School.

Mills was being held without bond.